13 ABBA FACTS YOU PERHAPS DIDN'T KNOW
Cheez doodles, pickled herring and Kalles Kaviar in all their glory, but the biggest Swedish export of all time is undoubtedly ABBA.
The Swedish pop phenomenon has had an amazing career and they are still extremely famous around the world.
Many things are known about the group but many are not, and with ABBA making their grand comeback
after 40 years we thought we'd make a list of 13 ABBA facts you perhaps didn't know,
depending on your level of ABBA fandom of course..
Cheez doodles, pickled herring and Kalles Kaviar in all their glory, but the biggest Swedish export of all time is undoubtedly ABBA. The Swedish pop phenomenon has had an amazing career and they are still extremely famous around the world. Many things are known about the group but many are not, and with ABBA making their grand comeback after 40 years we thought we'd make a list of 13 ABBA facts you perhaps didn't know, depending on your level of ABBA fandom of course..
1. THANK YOU, EUROVISION!
"Ring Ring" was ABBA's debut album released in 1973 which included a long list of massive hits, but the phenomenal song that introduced them to the world was the song "Waterloo", which they performed on April 6, 1974 at Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton. The song won them the contest and it was the very first time for a Scandinavian country to win the contest as well.
Waterloo has also been voted the most popular Eurovison song of all times.
2. A REUNION TO REMEMBER
ABBA's first reunion in public, after their separation, took place after 22 years at the Swedish premiere of the film "Mamma Mia" on July 4, 2008.
Mamma Mia held its world premiere on June 30, 2008 at Leicester Square in London but premiered on July 4, 2008 in Stockholm, Sweden, with all ABBA members in attendance.
3. MORE POPULAR THAN THE MOON
Australia was the country that welcomed ABBA most wholeheartedly during the years. Nowhere else was ABBA as popular as Down Under. A special program about ABBA on Australian TV in 1976 drew more viewers than the moon landing in 1969! The special program, entitled "The Best of ABBA", had to be broadcast four times due to its popularity.
4. THE HERRING WAS FIRST
ABBA shares the same name as the Swedish seafood company Abba, which also owned all rights to the name. However, the company chose to let ABBA keep the name, despite trademark infringement. We're guessing they didn't regret this decision as the group probably was very good advertisement for them.
5. SLIGHTLY AHEAD OF THEIR TIME
ABBA could be seen in a whole bunch of different commercials back in the day. In 1973 they partnered up with Swedish baby food company Semper in a commercial that starred baby Linda Ulvaeus, Björn and Agnetha's daughter. They also made many commercials for Australian TV, like this one for National electronics (a brand owned by Panasonic) with the famous slogan "Just slightly ahead our our time".
6. PARTY PEOPLE
Before there was ABBA, Björn was a member of the band Hootenanny Singers and Benny a member of the band Hep Stars. Björn & Benny met at a party for the two bands and started writing songs together. They then added Anne-Frid and Agnetha and their first official group name was "Festfolk" (Party People"). They later became simply: Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid and released five singles under this name. They soon realised this was quite an impractical name and what started as just a nickname and play with words officially became their real group name in 1973.
7. GRACIAS POUR LA MUSICA
That the band was extremely popular in the English-speaking world is not news, but did you know that they were also superstars in the Spanish-speaking part of the world? In honor of this, they released an album with the Spanish title "Gracias Pour La Musica", which was later translated to "Thank You for the Music" which became one of their most successful hits.
8. BEATING ALL RECORDS
ABBA is one of the greatest best-selling music acts of all time, with sales estimated to more than 400 million records worldwide. The group topped all the charts in almost all countries between 1974 and 1982, but ABBA was also the first non-domestic group to top the charts in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada and Australia.
9. LONDON HYSTERIA
In 1977, just ten days after the release of the single "Knowing Me, Knowing You", ABBA had their first concerts in the UK at the Royal Albert Hall. The two London gigs had the venue capacity for 6000 (12 000 for two days) but as many as 3,500,000 ticket orders were received for these two concerts alone!
10. THE UNCOOL 80'S
"The visitors" was ABBA’s 8th and last studio album and was released in November 1981, and the year that follow ended up being their last year together. They planned to release another album but only two singles and a compilation were released. Although the album was a success the members of ABBA were starting to feel like a break was needed and on 11th of December 1982, they made their last performance ever, transmitted to the UK on Noel Edmonds' The Late, Late Breakfast Show, through a live link from a TV studio in Stockholm.
Björn & Benny then went on to start writing music for musicals and the world finally grew tired of ABBA or as Benny & Björn said in their own words: “We were super uncool in the 80’s.
11. AS GOOD AS AN ABBA SONG
The ABBA mania slowly cooled down in the 80's and it remained this way, until 1994 when the hit movies Muriel’s Wedding and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert made their debut on screens, and people's obsession (especially in Australia) was reignited once more.
Muriel’s Wedding, the story of a social outcast and ABBA fan, with catchphrases such as “Now my life’s as good as an ABBA song. It’s as good as Dancing Queen.” embraced people's pasts as ABBA superfans and ABBA became popular once more.
12. THE ONE BILLION DOLLAR OFFER
In 2000, amid a revival of several of their hits, an American-British consortium offered the group $1 billion to reunite for 100 shows, but they declined the offer. That’s more than the GDP of some small countries and more than anyone has been offered before.
Benny said about the offer: "It's a hell of a lot of money to say no to, but we decided it wasn't for us. There is simply no motivation to regroup. Money is not a factor and we would like people to remember us as we were". He confirmed that this was a mutual decision made by all four members of ABBA. No one felt like it was something they wanted to do...
13. HERE WE GO AGAIN
You all probably know this one by now but we're adding it anyway;) Last week ABBA announced that they are back, but instead of embarking on a world tour, the group will voice holograms of themselves in their heyday for a “state-of-the-art” show called “ABBA Voyage” that will be staged at a 3,000-capacity theatre in London’s Olympic Park. The show will launch in May 2022 and run eight times a week, featuring a blend of previously filmed and projected content and live performers. The group has teamed up with the Star Wars creator George Lucas’s studio to develop digital representations of themselves using this first-of-a-kind, “revolutionary” technology. A preview of what the digital versions of ABBA look like can be seen in the accompanying video for “I Still Have Faith In You”. The statement on the official ABBA Voyage website reads: “Join us for a concert 40 years in the making. A concert that combines the old and new, the young and not-so-young. A concert that has brought all four of us together again”.